The regional overall sprint car series will have a new name in 2017.
After a number of years as the series co-title sponsor, Speedway Motors will drop back to an associate position next season.
Champion Racing Oil will remain as a co-title sponsor for the sixth season, while BR Motorsports will join in the co-title sponsor role.
The new series name will be Champion Racing Oil/BR Motorsports Central Pennsylvania Sprint Cars presented by Hoseheads.
BR Motorsports, based in California, is the world's largest supplier of sprint car and midget parts, with more than 250,000 parts in stock.
All of the series associate sponsors will return, and with the addition of Speedway Motors, the series point fund will actually grow by $1,000, from $23,000 to $24,000. The champion will receive $6,000, with $4,000 for second, $3,000 for third, $2,000 for each position from fourth through seventh, and $1,000 for drivers in each position from eighth through 10th.
There will also again be many product sponsors.
Fawn Grove teenager Matt Campbell was named the series 2016 Rookie of the Year and received numerous products for the award.
Greg Hodnett finished as the 2016 overall champion.
Racing Extravaganza set for this weekend: The Racing Extravaganza show will be held this weekend in the Utz Arena at the York Expo Center.
Show hours are 10 a.m. until 9 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Sunday.
The Racing Extravaganza is known for the large number of local race cars on display for fans to check out before the season begins. Show officials said that more then 50 drivers have agreed to sign autographs at some point over the weekend. Just a few of the names mentioned are Greg Hodnett, Lance Dewease, Brent Marks, Jason Covert, Jeremy Miller, Randy Christine Jr., Kassidy Kreitz, Jake Waters, Zach Newlin, Gregg Foster, Justin Foster, Kyle Denmyer, Dalton Dietrich, Lucas Montogomery and Mason Chaney.
Of course, the show also features a wide variety of racing collectibles and racing parts on display, along with booths manned by most of the local race tracks. The show has always been a great place to pick up schedules for the local tracks for the new season.
The York County Racing club will be on hand as always, and will have a bake sale fundraiser all weekend.
Bricker’s Famous French Fries will sponsor Saturday’s Ms. Racing Extravaganza Contest. That contest will be held Saturday evening at 7 p.m. The Junior Ms. Racing Extravaganza Contest will be held Sunday at 1 p.m.
Several seminars will be held over the weekend, and the popular Kid’s Zone will run all weekend.
Rudolph triumphs at Atlantic City: Erick Rudolph raced to his second win of the Indoor Racing Series in Saturday’s Gambler’s Classic at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City.
Rudolph’s win, in the three-quarter midget feature, was worth $5,000. He also won at Trenton in mid-December.
While he only managed a 10th-place finish in Atlantic City, Ryan Flores took home the winter series championship. Flores won both races in Allentown over the New Year’s holiday weekend.
Rudolph started from the pole and led all 40 laps of the Gambler’s Classic, but had to withstand a last-lap challenge by Zane Zeiner to pick up the win. Zeiner fell just .003 short at the finish line. Matt Janish finished third, with Jimmy Blewett and Mike Lichty in the top five.
In Friday’s four 20-lap qualifying features, wins went to fast-timer Justin Bonsignore, Ted Christopher, Zeiner and Mike Iles. Bonsignore struggled to a 14th-place finish Saturday, while Iles and Christopher both dropped from the event with mechanical problems.
Gary Heiber Jr. led all 25 laps to win Saturday’s slingshot feature, while second-place finisher Danny Buccafusca scored the series title. Buccasfusca won at Allentown.
Cale Ross came from the 10th starting spot to win Saturday’s 25-lap champ kart feature.
Indoor notes: One of the neat things about the indoor racing series are the number of drivers who participate from many varied racing series.
There were 75 drivers who tried to make Saturday’s TQ A-Main. Of that number, 26 started the feature. In that field there were drivers from the asphalt and dirt modifieds, 360 and 410 sprints, asphalt late models, asphalt super modifieds, asphalt and dirt midgets, and of course, the micro sprints and TQ midgets.
In addition there was one driver who raced the entire NASCAR Grand National slate last season, and the driver who won the series championship, Flores, is a tire changer for Ryan Blaney’s NASCAR Cup series racer, who only gets behind the wheel for the indoor races.
Rudolph is now noted as a dirt modified racer, but has also spent considerable time in asphalt modifieds. Zeiner races asphalt modifieds, while Janish is a TQ midget racer. Blewett races asphalt modifieds, but has also raced the mods on dirt. Lichty is an asphalt winged super-modified racer.
There were some other interesting stories in the pit area. Chad Parks is a regular with the indoor TQ midget series. His father owns three Indy 500 winners' rings from his days on the crew of legendary racer A.J. Foyt.
One that hit close to home for me was Seth Spayd, who finished third in the slingshot feature. The youngster is the great grandson of long-ago racer Ernie McCoy. Ernie McCoy was nearing the end of his long and storied driving career when I started my racing career in the infield concession stand at Susquehanna as a 15 year old.
At the time, McCoy was towing his outdated Offy Midget to Susky behind his Cadillac to compete in the weekly midget races. I also remember McCoy having a really good run with the Offy at the York Fairgrounds.
In his heyday, McCoy was a top runner in the USAC sprint cars. He qualified for two Indy 500s and raced in Williams Grove’0s only NASCAR Cup Series race.
I remember McCoy as being a real character, with a great sense of humor, who treated a young “kid” in the concession stand really well.
1972: The first look at results from the 1972 season begins with the start of the Winter Speedweeks in Florida.
They started on Monday, Jan. 30 at Lakeland, where Ohio driver Jim Linder picked up the win. Then it was on to the old Tampa Fairgrounds, where Midwestern driver Jerry Blundy won on Thursday and Sunday. In between those races, the Saturday night show fell to local transplant Jan Opperman, who drove the Luke Bogar No. 99 to his first win of the season. Another local transplant, Billy Cassella, drove Al Hamilton’s second car, the No. 78, to a pair of thirds and a fifth at Tampa.
More on Cassella later.
Bryan Householder writes about dirt track racing for The York Dispatch. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.